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Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 12:40 pm PT (03:40 pm ET)

Microsoft exec compares Apple's iPhone 4 to Windows Vista

A Microsoft executive has said that the iPhone 4 could become Apple's version of the maligned Windows Vista operating system — implying the product could be a misfire that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of consumers.

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner gave the keynote speech at his company's Worldwide Partner Conference this week, and commented on the iPhone 4 antenna issue that has gained a considerable amount of media attention this week, following a change of opinion on the handset by Consumer Reports. The comments were reported Wednesday by Gregg Keizer of Computerworld.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm OK with that," Turner was quoted as saying.

Earlier, he took another jab at Apple, saying that when the multitouch Windows Phone 7 launches later this year on mobile devices, users will "not have to worry about how you're holding it to make a phone call." He said that Microsoft's forthcoming mobile operating system, along with the bad publicity being experienced by Apple, are evidence that Microsoft can still be a force in the mobile phone market.

"We're back in the game," Turner reportedly said. "And this game is not over."

This week's event is not the first time Turner has made disparaging remarks about Apple in public. Last year, he bragged that Microsoft received a phone call from Apple's legal department over the company's "Laptop Hunters" advertisements. Apple reportedly called to complain that the advertisement showed an outdated, higher price for a MacBook Pro. Microsoft later quietly changed the advertisement.

Microsoft is not the only company that's poked fun at the iPhone 4. Earlier this month, Verizon ran a full page ad in The New York Times for Motorola's new Droid X smartphone. "Most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design," the ad read. "The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard."